Leaders are flocking to Chick-fil-A for the opportunity. Chick-fil-A makes more per restaurant than any other fast-food restaurant in the U.S.
In fact, 80,000 people applied for 100 Chick-fil-A operator opportunities last year.
With so many people clamoring to be a part of Chick-fil-A, how does Chick-fil-A find the right people to represent the iconic brand, extend the extraordinary “second-mile” customer service, and lead their front-line workforce?
Chick-fil-A asks one powerful question. It’s the same question that Chick-fil-A founder, Truett Cathy, first asked in 1967 when considering potential operators.
“Would I want my kids working for this person?"
When looking for the next restaurant operator, this is the number one question in the mind of the Chick-fil-A leadership team.
This question answers hundreds of other potential questions that may linger in the mind of a hiring manager.
Many of Chick-fil-A’s competitors first question of a potential franchisee has to do with their access to large sums of capital. This transactional approach mirrors what customers experience inside those restaurants. These fast-food restaurants are assuming the building block of business is capital.
When Truett Cathy searched for franchisees or operators, he was more interested in human capital. Truett thought capital was fairly easy to come by, but the more scarce resource was talent and motivation.
By asking “Would I want my kids working for this person?” Chick-fil-A tries to discover if the person has the talent to attract the right people onto the team and if they had the motivation to want to develop those people.
By asking this simple yet profound question for 52 years, Chick-fil-A has created the environment where they want their kids to work in and hired the people they want their kids to work for. At Chick-fil-A headquarters, known as the Support Center, 85 percent of employees’ kids are working in their restaurants or at the Support Center.
Ask this question of your next hire to gain deeper clarity and certainty.
Ryan Jenkins is an internationally-recognized keynote speaker and author on the topics of leadership, generational differences, and the future of work. He is the co-founder of SyncLX, which creates lasting learning experiences for companies' #1 asset, their people.